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Job Details

Merck & Co, Inc

Postdoctoral Fellow, Protein & Structural Chemistry

Science and Research



South San Francisco, California, United States

Job Description

Be a part of the legacy: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program

Our Research Laboratories’ Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program aims to be a best-in-industry program for industrial postdoctoral researchers, designed to provide you with an academic focus in a commercial environment. With the resources, reach, and expertise of a large pharmaceutical company, postdoctoral researchers will be positioned to excel in an institution committed to breakthrough innovation in research and discovery.

The Department of Protein & Structural Chemistry within our company Research Labs (South San Francisco) is seeking a motivated Postdoctoral Fellow with expertise in protein biochemistry and structural biology and a strong interest structure-based drug discovery. The successful candidate will use a combination of biophysical and structural techniques, including X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron tomography, to study various aspects of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) developability.

The postdoctoral fellow will work in close collaboration with biochemists, biophysicists, chemists, and protein modelers across the our company network to execute an ambitious proposal. These collaborative interactions will require moderate travel between sites to maximize in-person training and leverage different available capabilities. Promising prospective candidates that do not meet all of the required experience/skills outlined below are nonetheless encouraged to apply. Training and mentoring will be provided for all aspects of the tenure, and will be provided at multiple sites.

Training and Responsibilities include:

  • Construct design.

  • Expression and purification of monoclonal antibodies.

  • Chemical conjugation of antibodies and linker/payloads.

  • Biophysical characterization of biologics targets.

  • Structural characterization of recombinant proteins by X-ray crystallography and/or cryo-EM.

  • Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) of proteins in their native environment.

  • Sharing of knowledge through attending internal and external scientific conferences.

  • Write and submit publications to peer-reviewed journals.

Education Minimum Requirement:

Candidates must hold a PhD or will you have completed your PhD within the next year in structural biology, biochemistry, biophysics, or related field.

Required Experience and Skills**:

  • PhD degree in structural biology or related field.

  • Demonstrated experience in a broad range of activities for x-ray crystallography and/or atomic resolution single particle cryo-EM, including sample preparation, data collection, image processing & structure determination.

  • Excellent communication skills (written, presentation, and oral).

  • Ability to work effectively and flexibly within timelines

  • Ability to manage a multifacted project

  • Demonstrated ability to prepare peer-reviewed publications

Intended training and mentoring in one or more of the following fields during the Post-doc:

  • Biophysical and functional characterization methods (e.g. DSF, HDX, SAXS).

  • Structure determination of small molecule protein complexes.

  • Cryo-electron tomography.

  • Mass spectrometry.

  • Using computational tools for protein engineering and design.


We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we “follow the science” that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. We believe that a research-driven enterprise dedicated to world-class science can succeed by inventing medicine and vaccine innovations that make a difference for patients across the globe.

Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

What we look for …

Imagine getting up in the morning for a job as important as helping to save and improve lives around the world. Here, you have that opportunity. You can put your empathy, creativity, digital mastery, or scientific genius to work in collaboration with a diverse group of colleagues who pursue and bring hope to countless people who are battling some of the most challenging diseases of our time. Our team is constantly evolving, so if you are among the intellectually curious, join us—and start making your impact today.


In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

Post Doc:
Under New York City, Washington State and California State law, the Company is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the salary range for this job. Final determinations with respect to salary will take into account a number of factors, which may include, but not be limited to the primary work location and the chosen candidate’s relevant skills, experience, and education.
Expected salary range:

Available benefits include bonus eligibility, health care and other insurance benefits (for employee and family), retirement benefits, paid holidays, vacation, and sick days. For Washington State Jobs, a summary of benefits is listed here.

Employees working in roles that the Company determines require routine collaboration with external stakeholders, such as customer-facing commercial, or research-based roles, will be expected to comply not only with Company policy but also with policies established by such external stakeholders (for example, a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access a facility or meet with stakeholders). Please understand that, as permitted by applicable law, if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and an essential function of your job is to call on external stakeholders who require vaccination to enter their premises or engage in face-to-face meetings, then your employment may pose an undue burden to business operations, in which case you may not be offered employment, or your employment could be terminated. Please also note that, where permitted by applicable law, the Company reserves the right to require COVID-19 vaccinations for positions, such as in Global Employee Health, where the Company determines in its discretion that the nature of the role presents an increased risk of disease transmission.

Current Employees apply HERE

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US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

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For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

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We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Residents of Colorado:

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Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

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Requisition ID:R221689